A new survey says Saanich has done the most to help future-proof all forms of development for electric vehicles, but the rest of Vancouver Island needs to catch up. (Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions/Submitted)

A new survey says Saanich has done the most to help future-proof all forms of development for electric vehicles, but the rest of Vancouver Island needs to catch up. (Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions/Submitted)

Saanich leads Vancouver Island and B.C. in promoting charging for electric vehicles

But the rest of Vancouver Island is lagging behind

A new survey says Saanich, the largest municipality on Vancouver Island, leads all surveyed municipalities in British Columbia when it comes to future-proofing construction for electric vehicles.

The survey prepared by the Victoria Electric Vehicle Association and Plug-in Richmond, two local advocacy groups, identified Saanich as the only municipality that has passed comprehensive measures to ensure electric-vehicle charging in all new developments, including those in institutional, commercial and industrial zones. The new measures approved last year will come into effect in June 2020.

The survey considered 45 municipalities and encourages the others to follow Saanich.“Every building which is constructed in the meantime represents another costly retrofit,” said James Locke, president of the Victoria Electric Vehicle Club, and John Roston of Plug-in Richmond, in a joint release.

RELATED: Can B.C. cleanly power every car if we go electric?

While Saanich is at the top, the rest of Vancouver Island, including the other 12 municipalities in the Capital Regional District (CRD), finds itself on the bottom rung of the survey. These communities either possess none or “exceptionally low” infrastructure requirements for electric vehicles.

This so-called ‘D-List’ of communities features Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, North Cowichan and Qualicum Beach outside of Greater Victoria.

Three Lower Mainland municipalities — Langley (Township), New Westminster, and Vancouver — find themselves below Saanich with each requiring all new residential buildings to be 100 per cent EV ready, while having have limited requirements for other zones.

Burnaby, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Port Moody, Richmond, and Surrey find themselves below the second-tier municipalities and the bottom-placed communities, which also includes the two largest communities in the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack, as well as the major communities in the Thompson-Okanagan region (Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton).

According to the ranking, 10 municipalities with a combined population of more than 2.2 million people have taken “proactive” steps in passing amendments to their zoning bylaws to provide for electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in residential and, in some cases, other property uses.

The survey argues that these measures generally prevent the high costs of retro-fitting buildings and properties for EV infrastructure as EV purchases in B.C. continue to increase.

Reactions from communities on the Saanich Peninsula are still arriving.

“We are in receipt of the letter,” said Rebecca Penz, North Saanich’s communications director. “Council will consider it on its next regular agenda.”

The Peninsula News Review has also reached to Sidney and Central Saanich for comment.

RELATED: Sidney won’t add fifth public charging station for now

RELATED: Sidney could pump up electric vehicle charging across community

RELATED: Central Saanich strikes committee to help reach new climate change goals

RELATED: New Central Saanich climate goal calls for 4,800 EVs on road by 2030

Sidney, which has the second highest per-capita ownership of electric vehicles on Vancouver Island, is moving ahead with plans the municipality says would increase the number of charging stations for all new multi-family developments, along with other changes.

Central Saanich also plans a review of electric mobility as part of an ambitious plan to drastically increase the number of EVs on locals roads, and all development applications approved by council are required to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelly Black, executive director of Point Ellice House Museum and Gardens, is working on years of deferred maintenance around the house and property. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Point Ellice House in Victoria looks to patch up during pandemic

Woodpeckers, leaks and rot keep museum head busy

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

Walkers ascend Mount Douglas Park on Sunday, Feb. 7. Visits to Saanich Parks are up 46 per cent compared to pre-pandemic statistics this time last year. (Darrell Wick Photo)
Oak Bay, Saanich parks peak in popularity during pandemic

Oak Bay spent an extra $5,000 on park toilet paper in 2020

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police say missing man Daniel Fortin, 55, is high-risk. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Daniel Fortin, 55, last seen in Victoria March 1

Anyone who sees Fortin asked to call 911

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read